Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Ghost, Ghouls, and Goblins (And the Roses Tournament), K+Q Rapier, and some Practices

Hey, it's been a while! Some things have happened in the last two months, such as us moving to Philly and a couple events which had large combat components: the Roses Tournament and King's and Queen's Rapier Champions. I got to fight a bit at the former, and marshaled the entire day at the latter.
I've only been able to make it to a very small handful of practices in the last two months (Read: Two practices). Between unpacking, work schedules, and sickness, it just hasn't been the priority I have wanted it to be. The practices I have made it out to have been fun. I've been able to work a bit with new people, get people interested in cloak, and really start to form relationships with people I haven't really known up to this point. I'm hoping once the current sickness plaguing my body moves on, I'll be able to jump back into rapier with both feet forward, and something that happened at K+Q is a huge component of that. More on that towards the end of this post.

Watching stuff happen at GG&G while Myrun hides behind me. Picture courtesy of Christy Page
G, G, & G/Roses Tourney: Was wet. We weren't sure until the day before if we were even going to be able to go. Because of that, I did not want to commit myself to a team in case I ended up not going. Besides, teams are always looking for combatants the day-of for the tournament, so we'll be fine, right? Wrong. So wrong. Thankfully, Duchess Caoilfhionn is a tremendously wonderful person and welcomed the two of us onto her team as one fighter (we only had one sword between the two of us, so we asked to be on the same team when one was found). The way it would work is her original team of fencers would fight the first round, the second round one of them would sit so one of us could go in, the third round another would sit so the other fencer could come back in and then the other of us would go in. It sounds confusing, but it worked. The unfortunate thing was that using this format, we only got to fight twice. And I made stupid mistakes in the fights so came out with a bunch of losses. After round 6, another Rose approached Duchess Caoilfhionn - Duchess Kienna. Three of her fencers dropped because of the rainy weather and did not want to injure themselves (understandably so with K+Q two weeks later), and asked if Myrun and I would be able to join her team. We graciously accepted, and were able to fight 2 more fights because of that. One of them (coincidentally against Caoilfhionn's team) I even won by using a guard my opponent had no experience with fighting against. I used it tactically to throw him off, catch him flat footed, and make my attack. I am very thankful to both Caoilfhionn and Kienna for having the chance to fight for them that day.

Me and Aiden. After seeing this picture, I have loosened my suspenders so no one has to see that again. Picture courtesy of John Turnea.
Between the events I began to develop some stomach issues. I ended up calling out of work about 5 times, and leaving work early another 3 times. That's not good for a brand new job, and honestly I am amazed I still have a job at the moment. I am certain I will have a talking-to this week, however.

K+Q Rapier was a much different day from the Roses Tourney. The event happened indoors, because temperatures (FINALLY!!!) dropped, and it was a bit wet earlier in the day. 92 fencers turned out for the combat, and 10 marshals were available. I was one of those marshals. Of the 10 marshals, 8 were given pools of 11-12 fencers to run, and the other two - Donovan and Frasier - floated between all the action to make themselves available if need-be and to keep an eye on things. So I marshaled a pool on my own for the first time in my year and a half as a marshal. That was pretty cool. I had never really marshaled anything in that time, so was always a bit unsure of how marshaling for real would be. You know how it felt? Right and Good. It was a good reminder of what I love doing.

So many of my friends did so well that day, it would be impossible to list all of their accomplishments. Obviously major props go to the new King's Champion Don Lupold, the new Queen's Champion (Lupold's opponent in the finals) Don Malochio, and the second recipient of the Cloak of Perseverance Don Mark. Someone who I would like to talk about and am deeply proud of is my wife Myrun. She wasn't even sure she wanted to enter the tournament up until we arrived on site. I intentionally chose to marshal a list in the other room from her just so she wouldn't be self conscious of her fighting with me there (its a very common thing, so I've started to not watch her fight). In her pool, she won 3 fights, and double killed (meaning her and her opponent died simultaneously) in another fight. Granted that's a win percentage of around 25-30%, but that is really good when the odds are stacked against you (K+Q pools are notoriously deep - everyone brings their best game, and the best fencers in the Kingdom come out of the woodwork for it).

Before the tournament got underway, there was a little pomp as some took on dependents. Master Antonio took Thomas of Effingham on as his very first dependent. Being such a special occasion for the both of them, Antonio made Thomas' collar out of his own squire belt and edged it in gray as a nod to Thomas' Warder from the Mid. It was such a beautiful thing to do, that I would clearly be lying if I said I didn't start to tear-up a bit. There were some words fealty exchanged. Next, Don Llewellyn took Katsumoto as his cadet. Again, Katsu gave an oath.

Now remember earlier when I said I'd get to something at the end of this post? During the pomp of dependents being taken, I was also taken as a dependent. When Frasier received his writ to become a premier of the Order of Defense, we had discussed what would happen to our Cadet/Don relationship. After talking about it, we decided the relationship would not change. I would remain his cadet, and we would discuss me becoming his provost in the future. A few months later he spoke to me about taking his first provost in Jean De Montagne. I wanted to give him time to work with Jean, and knew somewhere down the road him and I could breach the subject of me becoming his provost. I wasn't in a huge rush - I wasn't even an OGR yet. However about a month ago, I brought it up. It was more out of curiosity what he felt the timeline was. After a short conversation, we decided to go for it.

So back to that moment. Frasier stepped out and said "So, what do you do when your eldest cadet asks you to take him as a provost?" Someone behind me (I can't remember who it was) didn't miss a beat and said "You ship him off to Philly!" Everyone chuckled a bit, but then Duke Brennan -also not missing a beat - responded with "Yeah, except he only gets halfway there!" And the laughter roared. It was a pretty great moment at my expense, but I loved it. So I stepped forward, and Frasier made two promises: one being that he would have a collar commissioned for me in the near future, and the other that he would begin to be more proactive in teaching me. A promise he wanted to make in front of everyone present. This threw me for a loop. I hadn't prepared words, but I had a few ideas of things I wanted to say. This second promise made me forget everything. What followed was me rambling trying to fit a few good words into sentences to try and sound half as good as the two who gave oaths before me. It did not work. But I am now a provost, and that means I need to get healthy again and start making a push. I may not be an OGR or even an OSR yet, but I need to start training to become a Master of Defense. The rest will fall into place when it is deserved.

So yeah, lots of things going on. Considering the health issues I have going on (again), it may be a little bit before I make another post. I'm not sure how long this will put me out for, but as I said before: jump in, both feet forward.